BPA safe for infants but could be banned - Canada

18 April 2008 20:29  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Health Canada will consider banning baby bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA) despite its own assessment that normal exposure rates to the chemical are safe for infants, the Canadian health agency said on Friday.

In its official statement, Health Canada said that although its assessment showed normal BPA ingestion levels to be safe for children up to 18 months of age, the government would propose the ban “to be prudent.”

“The scientists concluded … that BPA exposure to newborns and infants is below levels that may pose a risk,” the agency said in a statement. “However, the gap between exposure and effect is not large enough.”

BPA, which mimics estrogen, can leach out of plastic polycarbonate (PC) containers exposed to heat or harsh detergents and then be ingested by humans.

Consumer worries that BPA in plastic baby bottles or the lining of infant-formula cans could damage the health of newborns and infants led Wal-Mart and other retailers to pull PC merchandise from store shelves in Canada and the US.

Canadian government officials were not immediately available for comment.

The government said it would publish its assessment on 19 April and allow a 60-day public comment period on what to do next. Options included banning the importation, sale and advertising of PC baby bottles containing BPA, or regulating the amount of BPA leached out of PC, the government said.

For more on BPA and PC, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ben Lefebvre
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